Saturday, August 29, 2009

Obama wants your Internet connection

Well, Obama asked for it a while back but now, in a revised Senate Bill, Senator Jay Rockerfeller (D) is asking for the same thing.

It is a little disturbing to see that the US Government wants to exercise its increasingly draconian powers over its constituents by telling companies who can manage their networks and by being able to pull connectivity to the Internet when it deems a Cybersecurity Emergency is happening.

And this, with the push from almost everyone to host your business in the cloud on someone's servers. The cloud is looking more like a few isolated gatherings of water vapor than a solid foundation on which to base your company network and its data.

Does that sound fair to you? Does it sound more like democracy or totalitarianism?


The Outspoken Wookie

Exchange Server 2007 SP2 on SBS 2008

This was posted by a colleague to a mailing list:

This came up a few days ago in my office. Read this if you wish to install
Exchange 2007 SP2 on SBS2008.;EN-US;973862
Holy crap
batman, I thought the days of different SP methods for SBS were over.....

Don't worry Drew, we were all lead to believe this. Unfortunately, it simply isn't the case.


One day - and I continue to live in hope - when the SBS Dev Team tells us something, we'll be able to believe it. One day...


The Outspoken Wookie

Thursday, August 27, 2009

SBS 2008 UR3 and the WSUS 3.0 SP2 Update

As I reported earlier, Windows Small Business Server Update Rollup 3 was making its way to a WU/MU/WSUS near you. Well, it has finally arrived and so far, seems to work.

I can't, unfortunately, say the same about the WSUS 3.0 SP2 release that was also recently released. I chose to install it via WU/MU and it got to the point where it successfully removed the previous version then died complaining that it didn't have adequate rights to install WSUS 3.0 SP2 on the server. of course, it was running as an Administrator. But don't let that get in the way of a good bug! :)

I'd strongly suggest that until a few of us have done further testing, you steer clear of this update for non-test environments.


The Ouspoken Wookie

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MAPS Price Alignment

I've been asking Microsoft for years why we're paying so much (comparatively) for their software here in Australia. One area is MAPS, and as SBSC PAL last financial year, I had a number of SBSC Partners ask me to follow up with Microsoft and find out why, exactly, we're paying so much for MAPS, Certified fees and software in general.

Well, according to Sarah Arnold's blog, as of 24 August, 2009, Microsoft Australia has done the following:

1. MAPS (physical media) has had a whopping price reduction from $699 (inc) to $660 (inc)
2. MAPS (digital download) has had its price set at $396 (inc)

Now, as we're all getting better access to broadband with better bandwidth allowances(*), the digital download option is looking better and better for most Registered Partners. The almost total lack of movement on the physical media version means that this is obviously Microsoft's least preferred method. That makes sense (however the lack of real price alignment here is still a little disappointing).

I hope that this adjustment of Australian pricing starts to flow across the MAPS divide and into all other products so that our pricing here starts to become fair - right now we pay a heavy penalty compared to our US cousins for Microsoft software across the board.

(*) Apologies to the BigPond and Telstra subscribers. Get a real ISP. :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Friday, August 14, 2009

Windows Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 3

Just a heads up to let you all know that Windows Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 3 has been released and will be finding its way into your Windows Update/Microsoft Update applet in the very near future.

This update not only includes a number of previously published hotfixes and updates that were not previously published, but (rather importantly) enables Windows 7 machines to be added to an SBS 2008 domain without the fiddling around with configuration files that was necessary up until this point.

Put that weekend on hold and start testing this update so you can deploy it to your clients before they start adding Windows 7 machines. :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Friday, August 07, 2009

Windows 7 Not On Connect

Unfortunately, as it is now August 6th in USA, Windows 7 should be available on Connect (nor MSDN, for that matter). It isn't. So much for promises, eh?


The Outspoken Wookie

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Win 7 and Win Server 2K8 R2 Upgrade Paths

There are a number of supported and unsupported ways to upgrade to either Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 and knowing exactly what is supported will ensure you and your clients aren't placed into a compromising situation. So, have a read of the following 2 documents to get the skinny on the situation:

Windows 7 Upgrade Paths
Windows Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Paths

Basically, when it comes to Windows 7, upgrading directly from Windows XP (or earlier) is unsupported whereas upgrading from Windows Vista to the equivalent or better version of Windows 7 is supported (ie upgrading from Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise is supported).

To be honest, we don't ever upgrade desktop operating systems as the time involved and the result often isn't what we'd like - we perform a fresh install of the OS, drivers and applications.

With Windows Server 2008 R2, upgrades are supported from Windows Server 2003 SP2 or R2 or from Windows Server 2008 RTM-SP1 or SP2 and from nothing else.


The Outspoken Wookie

Monday, August 03, 2009

SBS 2008 - Remove Headers (Exchange)

For some reason, the folks in at Microsoft decided to change the way they handled sending email from your internal network to the outside world when it comes to Received Headers in the SMTP header.

What used to happen in Exchange 2003 is that an Outlook client sends an email to the Exchange Server to be sent out to the external recipient(s) and the Exchange Server sent the email out. There was no internal server information in the Receive headers that was sent to the outside world - in other words, the recipient didn't know that the email was sent from my Outlook to internalservername.domain.local and didn't need to know this. This is pretty much what should happen now and what happens with all other mail systems - internal Received headers are dropped when sending outside.

What's happened in Exchange 2007, however, is that when you send an email from your Outlook mail client to an external recipient, the Received headers include your internalservername.domain.local information that is not only superfluous, but possibly also creates a security concern by giving external recipients a view into your local network configuration that they have no right nor need to know.

Now, this is easy to fix - in Exchange Management Console, Organization Configuration, Hub Transport, Hub Transport Rules you need to create a new rule called "Strip Local Headers" that is configured to work on email from Inside to Outside, then Remove Header and enter "Received" when asked for the header to remove.

Once that's done, pull up an email sent to an outside user befoe this rule was created and another from after it was created and look at the headers of both emails - you'll notice your internal network information missing from the later email, just as it should be.


The Outspoken Wookie

Looks like MAPS finally gets Enterprise Server back

I've been asking Microsoft ever since they failed to replace Windows Server 2003 Enterprise in MAPS why they thought this was a good move, especially now as WS2K8 Ent includes 4 Virtualized Guest OS Licenses. No-one came up with a reasonable explanation - all I heard was "if you want it, buy it or download the eval", neither of which are valid responses for MAPS users, considering we originally had this software (admittedly, back in the Windows Server 2003 days).

So, according to this page, MAPS users will be receiving Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. Finally someone in there has seen the light - the reason I was asking for this on behalf of all MAPS users is that it means we can actually evaluate the software in MAPS properly which will enable us to support *and sell* it more easily.


The Outspoken Wookie